“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” ~ It’s a Wonderful Life
How many holes have been left in our world due to the lack of respect for life? Countless.
Each year, in January, the March for Life is held in Washington, D.C., and each year, thousands of people from all over the country come together to take a stand for life: the life of the unborn, the life of the mother carrying her child, the life of the fathers, the life of the elderly, the life of the sick and dying, the life of the disabled, the life of the military, the life of the innocent and the guilty, the life of every person. But why a march? We march because we are on a pilgrimage, a journey to a sacred destination. The sacred destination is a world where all life is respected. The March itself is only part of the pilgrimage. Our pilgrimage begins here at home in our words and our actions each day. If we want the March for Life to be effective, we must be champions for its cause each day. We each have a voice to take a stand for God and his truth. The March for Life provides an opportunity for all of those voices to come together as one. When I was a child sitting in church, I remember praying the Lord’s Prayer in unison with the rest of the congregation. I used to imagine that unified voice was the sound of God’s voice. We are each part of the body of Christ, and each of us is an instrument for His voice and His Truth to be heard.
According to the official March for Life website, the mission of the March for Life is:
“To provide all Americans with a place to testify to the beauty of life and the dignity of each human person. Both in January, on the anniversary of legalized abortion in the U.S., and throughout the year, we bring together pro-life leaders and groups to organize, unite and strategize around a common message, and to communicate this message to the government, the media and the nation in a way that is powerful and life affirming. The March for Life in Washington, D.C. began as a small demonstration and rapidly grew to be the largest pro-life event in the world. The peaceful demonstration that has followed on this somber anniversary every year since 1973 is a witness to the truth concerning the greatest human rights violation of our time, legalized abortion on demand.”
We march to speak the truth in love, and we stand united for all those who cannot stand for themselves, for those who feel alone, for those who feel cast aside, we stand for the dignity of all life.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Chris Rogers Director of the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry
The most powerful experiences were when we prayed at the Planned Parenthood very close to the White House. One of the years we went on a day they were actually open. This day, a young girl had been taken in shortly before we arrived. She was begging not to do this and asking to leave, but was being forced inside by a woman they assumed might have been her mother. We had two newly ordained priests with us. The three of them walked right up to the doors and prayed over the whole clinic, and especially for this young mother. The image of these three priests standing before this building with their hands raised in prayer has never left me.
– Stephanie Hannasch, coordinator of religious education and director of youth ministry at St. Mary Parish, Neillsville
The March for Life was truly an amazing experience, and I am so thankful I was able to participate. Being able to walk the streets of Chicago with others who believe in the same values as me was eye opening. It made me feel like I was a part of something much larger, moving to make a change. It was so cold that day, but the experience was well worth facing the cold.
– Noelani Vargas, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Holmen
I have attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C. for a numbers of years and have found it very rewarding because I am standing up for those who have no voice in the system. It is a great opportunity to share my views with hundreds of thousands from all segments of society. No matter what the weather is, we gather together to stand up for an issue that should be important to all. We are fighting a wrong. I will continue to attend in order to be more than just the silent minority, but an active voice for the unborn.
– Deacon Vern Linzmeier, St. Bronislava Parish, Plover